the life of richie


Posted in Stories by Rich on December 25, 2009

WIDOW – I thought about killing that son of a bitch before, I did. For nine years I watched him and waited for the right time. Just so happens that time was Christmas.

[Lights reveal a disheveled kitchen with a large pot boiling on the stove. There is a small messy table with two chairs. In the doorway hangs a sprig of mistletoe. The BODY enters.]

BODY – Woman –– what are you bubbling up in your cauldron now?

WIDOW – I’m making me beef stew.

BODY – Steeewww? Ha!

WIDOW – I thought you liked me beef stew. I thought you said it put hair on your chest.

BODY – Aye –– hair on me chest and on me testicles and on me backside too.

WIDOW – Don’t you love me anymore, sir?

BODY – The stew’s getting cold, madam.

WIDOW – [Aside.] This is how he treated me. Nine years I put up with this. And for what? “Must be the sex,” people’d say. “He must be hung like a friggin’ horse, him.” Like a friggin’ horse? Ha! That there stew’s got more beef in it than he ever had.

BODY – The stew, woman! Make with the stew!

WIDOW – The stew? I’ll give you your bloody stew…

[She throws a dinner roll at him. He laughs.]

WIDOW – [Aside.] It wasn’t always this way. In the beginning, he was a sweet, sweet man. Said he wanted to be a playwright, he did. Of all things –– a playwright! He’d take my hand and say –– [to BODY] Do you remember what you used to say?

BODY – Aye, madam. I remember.

[They take their places in the doorway. The WIDOW notices the mistletoe.]

WIDOW – That’s right –– it was Christmas! I knew it was Christmas by the mistletoe hung up in the doorway, like.

BODY – You look mighty pretty tonight, miss.

WIDOW – Oh, you!

[He takes her hand.]

BODY – Your hand’s real nice. Reminds me of a fish I caught once.

WIDOW – Oh! A naughty, naughty man you is!

BODY – Worser men might take advantage the fact that we’s standin’ here under this mistletoe and all.

WIDOW – I’ll admit –– it is rather erotic, sir. Gets me panties all bunched up in the crack, like.

BODY – Some women stand around waitin’ for men in doorways such as this one.

WIDOW – Mistletoe slags they are.

BODY – Not like you though. No, you’re like a grand helping of shepherd’s pie, you are –– all warm and meaty, like.

WIDOW – You speak with a poet’s stomach, sir.

BODY – I’m a playwright, in fact. Just as my father was a deadbeat and his father a deadbeat before him.

WIDOW – Ooh, a writer, eh? Perhaps you’d be liking to stick your pen in this here ink well, Mr. Author-man. Might put some color in your cheeks.

[They kiss. The WIDOW pulls away. The BODY resumes his previous position at the table.]

WIDOW – [Aside.] See, I didn’t care that his john thomas was still shopping in the little boys section. He was a playwright ––

BODY – Where’s me stew, woman?

WIDOW – I’m bringing your lousy stew, shithead! [She throws another roll at him.] I didn’t need no porn star lover so long as he treated me in the manner befitting a woman of my gentile nature. All I asked was that he keep food on the table and the toilet seat down. That’s all I asked. Was that really so much?

BODY – Who the hell you talking to, wench?

WIDOW – No one! Shut up, you!

BODY – The stew, madam. I want me stew!

WIDOW – [laughing] The stew. He wants his bloody stew. Well, I’ll give him his fucking stew!

[She dispatches the mistletoe from the doorway and throws it into the gurgling pot. She stirs the mix. The stage is silent. The WIDOW ladles out several heaping portions into a large bowl. She carries it to her husband, standing before the BODY with his supper-gruel.]

BODY – Would that be my stew then?

WIDOW – Aye. It is that.

BODY – That’s all I wanted, madam. Thank you.

WIDOW – [with mock reverence] Will you be wanting anything else, your highness?

BODY – No. [thinking] Well, yes. There is one thing, woman. I want to say I’m sorry for yelling about the stew. I just get a little irrational around the holidays is all.

WIDOW – I noticed. You were carrying on like a chimpanzee, what with all the wailing and moaning.

BODY – Chimpanzees don’t wail. They more holler and shriek, like. But the point is well-taken. I want you to know, Mrs. Wife, that despite my temper sometimes… I love you, I do. I really bloody-well love you.

WIDOW – [surprised] Love me? [Aside.] Did you hear him? [She takes the soup back to the vicinity of the pot.] He loves me that one does. Still, after all these years. Maybe I won’t kill him after all then. He has always kept food on the table. He has always given me that. And the toilet seat ––

[A spotlight comes up on a toilet downstage right. It should be made quite apparent that the seat has been left up. The WIDOW, furious, grabs the ladle and fills the tainted bowl even fuller. She serves the stew to her husband.]

WIDOW – Your stew!

[The BODY begins eating it. During the WIDOW’s closing monologue he will begin choking and die.]

WIDOW – I never asked for much after all. Two simple things. I would have traded love for the bit about the toilet seat. When the police came, they said it was the mistletoe had done him in. Oh, no, –– oh, dear –– but however did that get in there, and –– it must have fallen in while I was cooking. He was so adamant about having his stew right away, you see. How could I deny him his supper? And they said, “sorry about the trouble and all,” and I said, “ ‘tis no trouble at all, but how will I go on, what will I do,” and shit like that. And it’ll be sad, tomorrow being Christmas and all.

[The WIDOW leaves. The BODY lies dead as a doornail at the kitchen table. The WIDOW returns and hangs a new branch of mistletoe in the doorway. She stands under it, waiting.]

WIDOW – Merry Christmas.


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Posted in Stories by Rich on December 24, 2009

Mr Chimbly sat by the fire smokin’ ‘iz pipe.

Ho-haw! bah-hummed Mrs Chimbly. Haven’t you chopped any chunkers fer the feu yet, husband?

–Naw, woman, sputtered Chimbly. For I’s been a-sittin’ right ‘ere puff-puff-puffin’ on me puffer as you can right’y see, sow. Whyn’t you just relax and leave ol’ Chimbly alone.

Lousy old Chimbly! yelled the missus, and set her husband en flambé.

Late after supper, Mrs Chimbly served a right plum pudding. And everyone so loved Mrs Chimbly’s plum pudding! How it wrestled all warm and chimbly in their tummies, like.

THE MORAL: Don’t do drugs.

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